July 6, 2016

What's in a Name?
I've been asked recently what our team's official hashtag is and with that came some additional questions about our teams name and where it came from.  So, most likely this is going to be geared more for our newbie members (like me) but perhaps a good refresher for all our veteran members as well.  

To start, let's clear up the teams name and what two entities make up our name and why.  Frequently our team gets tagged as Epoch.  While Epoch Universal is one of our title sponsors they are not alone in that role.  Performance Therapy is also our title sponsors.  Both of these businesses support and contribute significantly to our team's success.  To ensure that both companies are represented equally our name is a reflection of both contributors - EPT Racing, standing for Epoch Performance Therapy Racing.  
Our teams evolution can be found on the EPT Racing homepage however here's a quick recap of the events that took place to get us to where we are today.  Several of you were members of the TrySports team which in July of 2013 became the foundation of our team today.  January of the following year both Epoch Universal and Performance Therapy took over the TrySports team and rebranded it as EPT Racing.  2014 was a big growth year for EPT Racing as Paul Harrold, Epoch Universal's CEO took over the active leadership role of the team.  Sponsors were added including partnerships with local businesses like Bike Depot, Charlotte Running Company and Triple C Brewing.  In early 2015, the team's logo changed to what we use today and Epoch Universal became a title sponsor of Big Sexy Racing creating a bond between our two teams.  A new color scheme and new kits brought a brighter look to our team for the 2015 racing season.  

Knowing our history and supporting our sponsors is key to our team's success.  We are able to do what we do because of the generosity, support and time that our sponsors provide us.  One way that we can thank our sponsors is to patronize their businesses when we are able to.  That also means giving a shout out on Facebook or Twitter when we've had a good experience with them.  

Which leads us to our official hashtag which is #EPT_Racing.  We love seeing our name on all sorts of social media however a lot of us throw out all kinds of hashtags that reference our team but official this is what we use and ask that everyone work to using this one hashtag for referencing the team as well.  

On Sunday July 17th EPT Racing will be hosting the annual pool party!  Bring your families for an afternoon of fun in the sun and a potluck dinner to follow. We will be using the Canterfield Creek neighborhood pool, 396 Streamside Lane from 3:00PM - 7:00PM.  A Corn Hole tourney will be set up so bring your A-game!

A Sign Up Genius has been created for bringing items to the party.  EPT Racing will be providing pulled pork for a main dish but we need sides, fruits/veggies, salads, desserts, plates, napkins, utensils, cups, etc...  Asking that everyone who's coming will pitch in to help make this party a success.  Drinks are BYO; alcohol is permitted however no glass containers are allowed.  Please RSVP no later than July 10th so that we can get a count to the pool committee for scheduling the extra lifeguards needed and so we can order the appropriate amount of pork.  

Click here for the Sign Up Genius!
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it for this afternoon of fun in the sun!

Running Can Be A Drag... 

A good illustration of what we are trying to do is the difference between a ball and a box. If we, as runners, are trying to create forward momentum, we should try to be more like a ball. A ball can roll for a longer period of time without stopping with little effort because there is very little resistance. Think of what a bowling ball does going down the lane or the speedy little BB-8 droid who stole the show in the most recent Star Wars movie. A box generates little to no momentum because it will constantly resist or brake itself. A ball with little to no drag will roll smoothly, where a box with significant drag will be erratic and unpredictable, requiring more effort to continue forward movement. Think of the less glamorous "Gonk Droid" from Star Wars. 
How can we be more like a ball when we run and less like a box? First we need to identify a few of the main contributors that create a box-like drag. If you watch most elite runners, you can easily see a few things that they have in common. First, they are fast and relaxed. Second, they seem to glide across the ground. There is very little vertical/up and down velocity and no side-to-side shifting. Most of them have been able to use gravity to their advantage and reduce drag as much as possible, which increases horizontal or forward velocity. The two main types of drag that we create are horizontal and lateral drag. I refer to this as forward and lateral breaking.
Forward breaking is a result of the foot landing in front of the body when we run. We do this either with a heel strike, which is most common, mid-foot, or toe strike. When we land with the foot in front of us, it puts a break on horizontal velocity creating a fulcrum which forces you to rock up and over the foot distorting forward movement and increasing upward movement or vertical velocity that slows you down. This forces us to over use our calf muscles and gluteal stabilizers, increasing the chances of injury. These injuries are usually Achilles tendonitis, heel pain, hip pain, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. As we pull our body over the foot, we over load our hamstrings, which can lead to an injury as well. This is usually seen as an individual who is very bouncy or poppy when they run. They create much more force for the body to absorb and assimilate. They are not easily able to manage the force of gravity acting down on them.

Lateral Breaking is created several different ways. The most common that we see and treat is a direct result of over rotation of the arms. This is usually referred to as chicken winging. When a runner brings their arm across the middle of their body, creating over rotation, the opposite hip moves side-to-side creating a hula-hoop motion. This causes the hip to quickly fatigue (hip bale) and to be unable to support the opposite hip during the stance phase of the run. An example of this would be a runner who wings their right arm forcing the left hip to bale and the right hip to drop. In this situation, it loads the outer side of the left leg. Since the average runner’s single leg cadence is 80, (90 is ideal), and you were to run for 30 minutes, then you would do this 2400 times. Do that 10 times and that’s 24,000 times. This then creates friction and inflammation between the IT Band (Illiotibial band) and the out side of the quad (Vastis Lateralis). Adhesions will shortly begin to form between these two structures frequently resulting in ITB syndrome. Since the body works through systems of movements constantly balancing and counterbalancing acceleration and deceleration, over pronation usually occurs as well. These issues frequently result in hip flexor dysfunction, knee/ITB pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, low back and glute pain. So with doing this 24,000 times give or take, you easily see how these problems can compound.
So what do we do to change this?
First, we must understand that it’s never too late to change. We work with new runners of all ages to high-level pros so it doesn’t matter when you start to change just that you do. Second we identify any movement dysfunction that is affecting joint integrity and properly treat it. Then we retrain and strengthen weak patterns. Thirdly, we need to learn how to cooperate with gravity from above and the approaching ground at the bottom with an efficient running form.

Two things you can do right now:
To begin to correct forward breaking, you can do something as simple as leaning from the ankles when you run. As you do this you will transfer gravity's affect on you from your chest to your back. This will reduce drag as well as allow the foot to land underneath your body. This foot strike is much more efficient than in front of you, and it will naturally increase your pace without increasing work or effort. You will no longer have the negative fulcrum and your body will have a smoother transfer of force. Think about a rope attached to your chest that is connected to a kite pulling you up and forward. A drill I like to use is to stand about one foot away from a wall. With your arms at your side, bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle with your palms facing the wall. Now lean forward at your ankles and have your hands stop you from hitting the wall. Practice this over and over with your body straight until it feels natural to lean at the ankles and relax.

Correcting lateral breakingis very simple. When you are running, imagine rail road tracks. As you run, make sure your hands move down the tracks. Let’s break this down a little bit. To begin with, relax your arms at your sides and bend your elbows to a 90 degree is very simple. When you are running, imagine rail roadtracks. As you run, make sure your hands move down the tracks. Let’s break this down a little bit. To begin with, relax your arms at your sides and bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle. Slightly move your shoulders back and fourth and let your arms swing with your hands going down the track. The arm movement should allow your hands to come up to your chest then back so your wrist is at your side. Because most of us have rounded shoulders, this may feel awkward at first because your arms will want to naturally cross. Try to keep your elbows a little more to your side and it will be easier. Now focus on relaxing your shoulders and hands but keeping your elbows at a 90 degree angle. I tell people to focus on relaxing the area between your shoulder blades and your hands. This will allow for a smoother arm transition and use less energy.

So how is your Run Fit? Not your run fitness but your run fit. Cyclists spend thousands of dollars to ensure that their bike and fit is as efficient as possible. What do you do about your run fit? You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to ensure your running is as efficient as possible, but as you see from above you do need more than a pair of the latest and greatest shoes. I gave you two great things that you can do right now to make you more efficient with your run fit. We have 7 different steps that we focus on to help you get over an injury quickly, to help you to reduce the chance of running injuries or just to get faster. Call and set up your run analysis and let us help you take the drag out of your running.

Everyone knows you need hydration when it’s hot but many of us don’t know how to optimize our hydration other than with commercially prepared drinks.  While some of those drinks are a necessity, here are some ways to help you replace fluids and the important minerals that you have lost on hot days and when you are training hard.  
~ Add coconut water to your regime.  You can drink it straight or mix it with your regular water.  Many of the grocery stores are selling fresh coconuts now in the juice area.  You can also find boxed coconut water. I sometimes buy mine from Trader Joe’s.  They have one with Aloe in it which is also super supportive for the gut lining.
~ Make sure you are adding some coconut oil, at least a tsp a day to your day.  Put it in your morning smoothie, in your coffee, on top of a sweet potato or eat a tsp right off the spoon  sometime in the evening before bed.
~ Post work out, make a recovery tonic that is 6 ounces of water, a tsp of whole vitamin C (I use a few capsules of Purium’s Whole Food C), some Hymalian pink sea salt and a capful of Sunwarrior Liquid light minerals. It’s important to replace vital minerals (selenium, zinc, magnesium, and silica).  Silica is a mineral that is not only helpful for detoxification but it helps repair collagen in your bones and skin.  This also contains Fulvic acid which is a powerful assimilation agent making sure the enzymes and minerals get back into your cells.
~ Also do something to support your kidneys because in addition to sweat, your kidneys are flushing out toxins as you exercise.  I am a big fan of the cranberry flush afternoon drink.  Add two Tablespoons of Cranberry Concentrate (I like the Knudson’s brand) to a glass of water.  Add some fresh mint, some honey and a dash of sea salt.  I also like to add spirulina to this because it helps with oxidative stress that the athlete needs for cellular repair.
While bars are quick and easy and sometimes a life saver, make sure you really only pick ones that have quality ingredients.  Stay away from ones with soy, gluten and binders and fillers.  Here are a list of ones that I feel are really high quality.
1. Bricks Bars: paleo style, gluten free, low glycemic
2. RX bars: egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates
3. Epic bars, paleo style bars with weird flavors like cranberry and bison
4. Single serve packets of Justin's almond butter
5. Ona Cookies: more of a treat but OK
6. Kind or Quest Bars
7.  Also you can get decent turkey jerky and salmon jerky but try to get nitrite free
8.  I would rather see you eat a Fig Newton that some of the bars I have seen

Tomato, Mozzarella Salad with Israeli Cous Cous and Cannellini Beans

0:30 Time · 15 Ingredients · 1 Steps

Another great grain based summer salad!

Greek Quinoa Salad

0:30 Time · 19 Ingredients · 1 Steps

Great summer salad featuring quinoia, fresh veggies and a great tangy dressing.

Chicken & Veggie Salad With Ginger Vinaigrette

0:35 Time · 17 Ingredients · 2 Steps

From the kitchen of Jennifer Giesber

Performance Therapy

Founding sponsor of EPT Racing

I Tri For Good

$5,000.00 Goal

EPT Racing Charity

Alpha-1 Village

$5,000.00 Goal

EPT Racing charity